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Is it Fair to have the Top 20 Walk the Stage First?

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Background:

Starting last year, the top 20 of the graduating class were called up to walk across the stage before everyone else. This is something that is expected to be continued in future years as well. There has been lots of agreement and disagreement on this topic. This article is only to notice both sides, it is not saying that this is right or wrong.

 

Side 1: Potential opinion of those in the top 20

Those in the top 20 worked harder than the others. They took numerous AP classes and put lots of effort into them. They deserve to be recognized right after the valedictorian and salutatorian.  Announcing those with a 4.0 or higher does not necessarily accomplish this because those in the top 20 did much more. Announcing them in the 4.0 or higher category would only camouflage that hard work since some of the people in that category didn’t do nearly as much as them. People who failed to get into the top 20 may be smart, but they decided not to challenge themselves to the extent that we did. We stressed ourselves out and lost many hours of sleep studying for multiple AP tests the next day.

 

Side 2: Potential opinion of those that are not in the top 20

Those in the top 20 are only in the top 20 because they took more AP classes to get a higher GPA. Just because you are not in the top 20 does not mean that you didn’t work just as hard as them. They should either do top 50 or just go along with the traditional 4.0 GPA. This makes it fair since it doesn’t single out people who are just as smart, but couldn’t make it into the top 20 because they took classes that they actually liked instead of taking so many AP classes. The top 20 policy is clearly unfair to those who put their focus elsewhere.

 

Side 3: Personal Opinion

I understand both sides of this argument. The people who are in the top 20 did work hard to get to where they are by taking a lot of AP classes. However, the people that are not in the top 20 probably worked just as hard as them. Announcing the top 20 first recognizes them and their academic efforts, but that is not fair for those who are close to being in the top 20. Some people in the top 20 took up to 13 AP classes which gave them a higher weighted GPA. AP classes, in general, are very hard to get through. They require a lot of time and commitment. However, some people that could have taken all these APs maybe focused on sports. Sports and activities-band, tennis, soccer, volleyball, baseball, basketball, football, etc- take a whole block out of one’s school year. They could have taken 3-4 AP classes in that time. Colleges want to see you challenge yourself. Taking lots of AP classes demonstrates this. Managing time between your classes and sports practice also shows this. So just because they didn’t end up in the top 20 does not mean they did not work hard. Announcing the top 20 would recognize academic commitment, but would overlook those who engaged in other activities. However, recognizing everyone would overlook the hard work the top 20 have done. If the valedictorian and salutatorian are recognized, so should the top 20. They probably all worked really hard to get there and couldn’t be the valedictorian or salutatorian due to very minor differences in GPA.

 

What is YOUR opinion on this? Comment below!

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Students thinking globally, reporting locally
Is it Fair to have the Top 20 Walk the Stage First?